An all-inclusive festival, Normal-Palooza offers something for all ages and features art, music and a variety of fun activities—such as the second annual kickball tournament.
Activities are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the upper school campus, located at 1219 W. Mississippi Ave.
Proceeds from artist booth fees will benefit the school’s education fund. According to the school’s website, the fund must raise $300,000 this year to pay for teacher salaries, academic programs, new computers, library books, science lab supplies, exhibit building supplies and other items.
A few changes to this year’s festival will include a more inclusive staging of artists throughout the crowd and a larger space for the popular Tennessee Valley LEGO Club to set up.
Returning activities include the "spider jump" bungee, gyrosphere, and other inflatable games and activities. Additionally, a number of Chattanooga’s food trucks and food vendors will be on hand to provide local fare.
The "kids zone" will operate on tickets—think Chuck E. Cheese or the county fair—and are available for purchase in advance.
PPRWRK will once again post a wheat paste mural. Last year, they constructed "Norm the Owl."
Among the live musicians, Paleface is scheduled to perform.
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Bridget Huckabay is an organizer for Normal-Palooza and a parent of two students at Normal Park. She said the festival has grown into a much larger community event.
"This is just such a great community of parents," she said. "It started as an annual music and arts festival, but it’s grown to be more about the experience."
Like the festival, Normal Park Magnet School witnessed an extraordinary shift from a magnet school—that encouraged parents who wanted to dedicate themselves to the public school system, regardless of their location in the city—to a "zone" school during the decadelong revival of the North Chattanooga neighborhood.
The school now operates as a zoned magnet school, allowing children living within the area to attend while using a lottery system for students outside the school zone. It is largely dependent upon members of the community and parents for support.
"The magnet component helped draw people in," Huckabay said. "It was the belief that a good education should be available for everyone—kind of a chicken/egg thing: Once it experienced major success, the attitude shifted, and that’s just where we are."
Normal Park Magnet School was established in 2002 and has consistently garnered accolades and awards locally and nationally.
Magnet Schools of America chose Normal Park as a School of Excellence in 2012.
The school continues to partner with local museums to provide an educational experience that is experiential and involves the family and community.
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